So here’s a little parable that I often have heard in union and labor circles.
A group of Wall Street bankers, hedge funds and private equity firms buy out a small manufacturing company with both union and non-union workers. The bankers set about dismantling much of the company. They sell off parts of the company, they liquidate the pension and health funds and load the company up with unsustainable debt. When they have worked all the usual financial angles, they send a young banker out to the factory to find more ways to extract more value from the company. The banker is hungry and exhausted from his long trip. He goes into the workers break room and sees a box of a dozen donuts. He sits down and promptly eats 11 of the 12 donuts. Just as he’s finishing donut 11 a union worker walks in. The union worker looks at the nearly empty box of donuts, looks around, shrugs and takes the last remaining donut. Just then a non-union worker walks in. The non-union worker looks at the empty box of donuts and is totally outraged. The banker points at the union worker and says “he ate your donut.”
This is the MMF-Rethink-Berklee-Kobalt transparency charade. These organizations all receive considerable funds from Spotify/YouTube. They are essentially the bankers. And these institutions refuse to acknowledge that the bankers ate 11 of the 12 donuts. When performers and songwriters ask where the money is they point their fingers at players much farther down the revenue stream, like PROs, publishing companies, HFA, SoundExchange and record labels. Get it?